MS 1540 comprises correspondence, diaries, notebooks, legal briefs, press cuttings, pamphlets, books, official documents and publications, menus, programmes, literary manuscripts, bills, receipts, photographs and tourist publications. Alfred Deakin corresponded with international, national, state and local politicians, Sir Edmund Barton among them. The collection documents the moves towards Federation and the early Commonwealth ministries. Correspondents also include Lord Tennyson, Lord Northcote, R.E. O'Connor, Richard Jebb, L.S. Amery, R.M. Collins, Sir Walter James, Sir William Lyne, Arthur Jose, David Syme, B.R. Wise, Sir Samuel Griffith, Sir Josiah Symon, Sir John Quick and Hubert Murray. Family papers include letters from Deakin's parents, sister (Catherine), wife, daughters and son-in-law Herbert Brookes (85 boxes, 33 security binders, 9 fol. boxes, 7 fol. packets).